Join acclaimed writer and Democracy Now lead anchor Amy Goodman for a public celebration on Saturday, June 2, of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Great Speckled Bird, Atlanta’s renowned “underground” newspaper from 1968 to 1976.
The event will take place at Chosewood Hall, 420 McDonough Blvd., Atlanta, starting at 4:00 PM with registration ($10 in advance, $12 at door), snacks, drinks, and socializing, followed by the program.
The program, “Media, Then and Now,” from 5:00 to 9:00, begins with music by Sing Out Defiance. Opening speaker Hamilton Nolan is senior writer for Splinter News and 2018 recipient of the Richard B. Jablow Award from the Writers Guild East for organizing digital media workers. Keynote speaker Amy Goodman, the lead anchor of the essential news program for our times, Democracy Now, is a champion of independent progressive media. A discussion, led by a panel of Bird veterans, will complete the program. After the program a light Indian vegan meal will be available for $8, soft drinks $1 with lots of camaraderie and celebration.
The Great Speckled Bird first appeared March 15, 1968. Within six months it was coming out weekly. Printed in color, issues ran to as many as 32 pages. By 1971, it reached a paid circulation of 23,000, becoming the largest weekly newspaper in Georgia.
The Bird and many other “underground” papers emerged from the New Left and counterculture of the Sixties. It covered the Vietnam antiwar movement, the civil rights-black power movement, labor struggles, and the emerging women’s, lesbian and gay, and environmental movements.
The Bird stood out for its incisive investigative pieces on local politics. The insightful coverage of arts and culture, featuring interviews with musicians and writers and reviews of albums, concerts, films, and plays, is still worth reading. The paper itself was carefully designed, with memorable covers, photography, and graphics.
The Bird faced continual opposition for its independent, anti-establishment stance. Lawsuits, firebombs, and other forms of harassment could not stop the paper. The Bird only ceased publication with the fading of the New Left and the counterculture in the mid-1970s.
Join us “on the wings of the great speckled bird” on 2 June, when we celebrate this unique local example of the creative turmoil and lasting social change of the Sixties. Listen to inspiring music, learn from engaging speakers, take part in an exciting discussion of the media, and meet old and new friends.